STORES Magazine - October 2008 - (Page 46)

WORTH WATCHING / ONLINE Creating a Scene Application helps retailers showcase products in their virtual stores BY CRAIG GUILLOT D escriptive copy and detailed images are key elements in helping consumers choose products when shopping online. Thanks to the technologies of a web services company, retailers can display their wares to customers in a 3-D environment. From home furnishings and appliances to posters and decor, consumers can design their own spaces with products from their favorite brands. And online retailers may find that the ability to mix and match products in a virtual environment translates into instant sales. SceneCaster allows shoppers to work with templates or create their own rooms from scratch, then choose from millions of 3-D items and products. cent female and take a keen interest in design and furnishings. Some of the scenes posted on the website include business owners creating commercial spaces, homeowners creating personal spaces and students designing their own rooms. Drag-and-drop shopping Users can simply drag and drop 3-D images into their spaces; scenes can be e-commerce sites, click-through rates are twice the industry average. “There is a huge amount of brand time and one-on-one marketing that a brand can get with a user,” Zohar says. “They are converting very well.” T.J. Gentle is president of Smart Furniture, an online furniture retailer based in Chattanooga, Tenn., that sells commercial furniture through By using SmartFixtures’ extensive catalog of modular products along with Google SketchUp and SceneCaster, businesses can design furniture products and shelves to maximize space and usage. “We give them the opportunity to lay out their space and view it in 3-D,” Gentle says. “It gives us a pure online way of helping people so they can see what it will really look like. It provides us with a lot more sales opportunities.” Retailers also can create virtual showrooms for new products. Shoppers can explore the room through a 3-D camera SceneCaster users spend an average of 35 minutes per session; click-through rates back to e-commerce sites are twice the industry average. Once a space is created, users can situate items, select the products they like then click to order them through their favorite retailers. “We give users access to millions of 3D objects,” says Mark Zohar, president and CEO of SceneCaster. “That is everything from the mundane to the sublime. We give users an engaging application to do things of utility like renovate a home and select products for the space.” SceneCaster’s users are about 70 per46 STORES / OCTOBER 2008 viewed from multiple camera angles, and users can check prices on eBay or There are strong branding opportunities with a 3-D space, Zohar says, because retailers and manufacturers can create catalogs and allow shoppers to see templates and features of products in an immersive way. SceneCaster has found that users spend an average of 35 minutes per session, and that with traffic routed back to and click on objects they are interested in to get a better view or to find out more information. The application takes much of the cost and time out of creating physical spaces and allows retailers to create an unlimited variety of showrooms stocked with products, Zohar says. And, by tracking all data associated with visits to these pages, SceneCaster can deliver detailed statistics about what consumers look at StORES in the virtual environments. WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - October 2008

STORES Magazine - October 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Force of a Different Collar
What Shoppers Think
Bagging the Competition
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Favorite 50
Sticky Strategies for Retention
Business Intelligence
NRFtech Wrap-up
Warehouse Systems
Selling Tools
Supply Chain
LOEB Retail Letter
Arts Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - October 2008